The Senate Committee on Health today voted to pass Senate Bill 2x (Hernandez), a measure to implement the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as “Obamacare,” along party lines. The vote was 7 to 2. Committee member State Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) issued the following statement after opposing the bill:
“To maintain the integrity and quality of our health care system, health care services must be competitive for the benefit of consumers. This legislation does not address the economics of health coverage - and is, therefore premature.
“Hasty, ill-conceived implementation of the ACA could wholly result in rationed and diminished as well as more costly health care.
“This bill does nothing to increase access to doctors, and has the potential to increase the cost of insurance premiums. I am particularly concerned about the potential impact for double digit premium increases for Northern Californian residents.
“The Legislature must exercise caution in obliging California to cover services that exceed those required by this federal mandate. This would result in vast new and additional costs to the state budget.
“The federal legislation and this state measure to implement the ACA will affect generations of Californians. We must proceed with deliberation and caution.”